How UCards Benefit U


Visit the new UCard office in room 158 of the Student Union building. Photo credit: Christopher Ayers

By Devin Oldroyd, News Writer


University of Utah students are given discounts to stores and restaurants, access to buildings on campus and free entry to different museums and events around campus, all with the presentation of their UCard.

UCards are ID cards given by the U to each student enrolled at the main Salt Lake City campus. They are also given to faculty and staff members employed through the main campus. Each UCard is a credit card-sized, red plastic card that includes a picture of the individual, their full name and their seven-digit ID number, or UNID.

“I think [UCards are] really useful,” said UCard Office Clerk Hannah Flind. “I feel like most people, sooner rather than later, need to use it, whether it is to take a test and show your identity or something else.”

UCards have a variety of on and off-campus benefits. “You can use [your UCard] as a bus pass for all the TRAX and buses around campus, you can use it as a way to get into the Student Life Center [and] you can use it as a way to access-restricted areas like the [U] Hospital,” Flind said. “Right now, you need it to get into the library.”

UCards are used frequently by students living on campus, as they often serve as building keys, proof of identification and payment cards for dining and library services. “I use it pretty often to tap myself into buildings,” U Student Ashley Olsen said. “I’ve [also] used it to get into the Utah Museum of Fine Arts before.”

UCards work hand in hand with students’ meal plans, which makes it possible to get food from the various dining halls around campus. “Using a UCard to get food on campus is pretty easy at the dining halls at the Peterson Heritage Center and Kahlert Village, you just tap your card on your way in, and then you’re all set to get as much food as you want,” Olsen said. “At other locations like the Miller Cafe and Crimson Corner, you can tap your card at checkout to apply flex dollars from your meal plan onto whatever you’re purchasing.”

While UCards have many practical uses, there are other opportunities around campus for students, faculty and staff to take advantage of their benefits for recreational purposes. “We have so many great cultural attractions on campus that give staff, faculty and students either free admission or discounts,” said the Director of Marketing and Communications for the Utah Museum of Fine Arts Mindy Wilson. “Pioneer Theater, Kingsbury Hall, the Natural History Museum [and] Red Butte Garden all come to mind.”

One location offering free admission to UCard holders is the UMFA, on campus near the Jon M. Huntsman Center. “There is always something new and cool to see at the museum,” Wilson said. “We have this really wonderful, big and diverse collection of global art that we own and care for here on-site.” Wilson said the UMFA is always rotating pieces in and out of their galleries, so their exhibitions are always changing. A new Japanese art gallery that recently opened within the UMFA includes a suit of samurai armor, samurai swords, a Buddhist sculpture and woodblock prints from Japanese artist Hiroshige.

On top of this new exhibition, the museum hosts temporary exhibitions. “Temporary exhibitions usually coincide with the semester, so there is usually one to view in the fall and one to view in the spring,” Wilson said. “This fall, the major exhibition is called Space Maker. It is contemporary artists that we all know and love. They are faculty members in the art and art history [from] our own college of fine arts.”

UCards not only offer free access to the exhibitions within the museum, but they also give access to the café and gift shop inside. “We have a wonderful café in the museum, [students are] always looking for somewhere to drink or eat on campus,” Wilson said. “[And] we have a really cool museum store too, full of art-inspired gifts.”

Beyond free admission, many places around campus offer discounts for their services if their customers have a UCard. “I sometimes get my nails done, and they take a 10% discount because I am a student with a UCard,” Flind said. According to, places such as The Pie Pizzeria, J. Crew and the Red Robin on Foothill Drive all offer discounts to UCard owners.

For more information on UCards and their uses, contact the UCard Office at 801-581-2273, open Monday and Wednesday 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Tuesday and Thursday 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., or visit their website at


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